December 8th, 2020

MPP's Eating Disorders Awareness Week bill passes

QUEEN'S PARK — MPP Jill Andrew (Toronto—St. Paul's), the NDP critic for Women's Issues, is thrilled to announce the passage on Tuesday of her bill proclaiming the first week of February Eating Disorders Awareness Week:

"The passage into royal assent of my bill creating an annual Eating Disorders Awareness Week in Ontario is an important step for Toronto-St.Paul’s and for Ontario's health and education.

Eating disorders (EDs), eating problems and body-image issues affect over 1 million Canadians and over half of those are right here in Ontario. EDs take an enormous toll on mental health, self-esteem, and one's relationship to their body. Harmful messaging targeting women and girls' bodies especially remain pervasive in our society and popular culture.

EDs disproportionately affect women and girls, but they also impact many people who are not traditionally considered susceptible, including boys, men, and non-binary people.

EDAW will help bring attention to the diversity of people who experience EDs, including Indigenous, Black and racialized women and girls, queer people, transgender people, disabled people and fat people. It will promote the ongoing need for culturally responsive resources for the treatment and prevention of EDs.

EDAW will bring attention to the socio-cultural determinants of EDs like food and income security, access to housing, health care and mental health supports, plus systemic violence like sexism, racism and homophobia.

I am also pushing for government support so people living with EDs can better access treatment, for OHIP coverage of ED treatment, plus psychotherapy, physiotherapy, chiropractic and massage therapies — proven to assist the lives of those impacted by EDs. I will push for more training in medical school about EDs, as people are often misdiagnosed, under-diagnosed, or left on long waitlists for treatment.

I will continue pushing my motion to create an intersectional gender equity lens for all Ontario legislation, which would ensure greater support for the countless women, girls and marginalized folks who have fallen through the cracks while suffering from EDs and other mental health challenges."